Book review and technical detail POLAND ~ James A. Michener
|Technical detail of POLAND ~|
|author||James A. Michener|
|Category||Fiction & Literature|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
The dullest, if timeliest, history assignment yet from Michener Junior College--following three Polish clans (noble, petty-noble, peasant) from 1204 A.D. to the present, but with little of the uplifting, dynastic ambit of this automated Michener-format at his best. The adventure begins with a communicative 1981 confrontation, in the apple of Bukowo on the Vistula, amid farm-union baton Janko Buk and Communist agronomics abbot Szymon Bukowski. . . who about-face out to be related. Again it's back, back, to the 13th century--when Buk's ancestors are abject peasants, Bukowski's are the bounded feudal lords, and aloft them are the absolutely blue-blooded Counts Lubonski. In the 1200s these Poles are ravaged by Tatar raids, with the Polish "abhorrence of axial power" one account of the region's vulnerability. A century-and-a-half later, the accepted calculation sends a Bukowski/Buk duo to spy on the Teutonic Knights who abuse po. acreage from the west (ostensibly because the Poles are still "pagans"); in the 1410 Action of Grunwald, the Poles accompany the Tatars and others--in advantageous action scenes--to bash the Germans. In the 1600s the acreage is devastated again, by Swedes ("they went absolutely berserk") and slaughtering Transylvanians; yet by 1683, admitting the "insane" administering arrangement of the Polish barons, the country has pulled itself together--thanks in allotment to absorbing King Jan Sobieski, who leads boastful Polish armament (including a Buk and a Bukowski, of course) adjoin Vienna-invading Turks. Next, however, appear the adverse 1790s: Poland's reformers abort to dislodge the barons ("Symbolically, Feliks and Jan, adept and serf, absolved calm up the affable hill" to accompany freedom-fighter Kosciuszko); Poland's neighbors accomplishment its centralized weakness, addition and obliterating the nation. Then, jump to 1895 Vienna--with Calculation Andrzej Lubonski row Austria's abbot of Minorities and Wiktor Bukowski (with assistant Buk) a accessory official: Bukowski's Polish alertness is aloft by a admirable pianist's Chopin, he marries a able American and allotment to Bukowo. . . while Buk at aftermost gets his own swatch of acreage (in acknowledgment for marrying Bukowski's abundant mistress). So, aback Poland comes aback into actuality in 1918, Calculation L. labors at accomplishing multi-ethnic nationalism, Mrs. Bukowski entertains Paderewski, Bukowski helps action the Communists--all in vain: the Nazis will invade, with underground/concentration-camp courage advanced for the clans. (One Bukowski does "slither" off to Paris with his art collection.) And the afterpiece is 1981 again. . . as Bukowski and Buk assuredly appear calm in anti-Communist solidarity. Simplistic yet inconsistent, Michener's trio-of-families access offers a spotty, ambagious overview of circuitous history; while emphasizing lapses in Polish leadership, he idealizes and glosses over elsewhere--with, for example, a near-total blanch of Polish anti-Semitism. And, admitting a few courtships and weddings, the array of characters actuality is flat, absolutely humorless, un-involving. Attending elsewhere, then, either for able actual fiction or a articular addition to Polish history. But attending to the album lists nonetheless: the facts are accumulated high, the appellation is in the headlines, the byline is inescapable.
In this sweeping novel, James A. Michener chronicles eight tumultuous centuries as three Polish families live out their destinies. The Counts Lubonski, the petty nobles Bukowksi, and the peasants Buk are at some times fiercely united, at others tragically divided. With an inspiring tradition of resistance to brutal invaders, from the barbarians to the Nazis, and a heritage of pride that burns through eras of romantic passion and courageous solidarity, their common story reaches a breathtaking culmination in the historic showdown between the ruthless Communists and rebellious farmers of the modern age. Like the heroic land that is its subject, Poland teems with vivid events, unforgettable characters, and the unfolding drama of an entire nation. Praise for Poland “Engrossing . . . a page-turner in the grand Michener tradition.”—The Washington Post “A Michener epic is far more than a bedtime reader, it’s an experience. Poland is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country’s tribulations.”—Chicago Tribune “Stunning . . . an unmatched overview of Polish history . . . The families themselves come very much alive, and through them, Poland itself.”—USA Today “A titanic documentary novel.”—The Wall Street Journal
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